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Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I
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Aristotle, the Rhetoric, Book I

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  • 1. or Aristotle, Our Other Contemporary
  • 2. R demonstration vs. persuasion Unlike Plato, Aristotle doesn’t contend that the pursuit of knowledge = the pursuit of certain truth. For Aristotle, a great deal of knowledge concerns truths that are, by their very nature, uncertain, debatable, unknowable in any final sense. This kind of knowing Aristotle calls phronesis or “practical wisdom.” It is the wisdom displayed (or not) in areas of human life such as ethics and politics. Such truths cannot be demonstrated , as (Aristotle believed) the truths of, say, geometry or science can be demonstrated. Rather, they can be rendered more or less persuasively .
  • 3. R techne Rhetoric is the techne of persuasion. Techne = art or craft. To use rhetoric well, then, is to be a kind of civic artist, i.e., to contribute to the ongoing conversation and debate whereby the community shapes, preserves, and sometimes changes itself, and without which it would disappear.
  • 4. R enthymeme As melody and harmony are to the musical artist and color, line and mass to the visual one, so are enthymemes to the Aristotelian rhetorical artist. Argument: An assertion + evidence for believing it. Enthymeme: A combination of statements that explicitly makes an argument while implicitly evoking the worldview within which that argument makes sense.
  • 5. R e
  • 6. R e

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